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Victoria Pearson's OpenLearn Profile

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Profile: Victoria Pearson

Victoria Pearson


Professional biography

Vic joined the Open University in 1999 as a PhD student in planetary sciences. She became a postdoctoral research assistant in 2004 and began her academic life as an Associate lecturer in 2006. In 2009 she became Lecturer in Analytical Sciences in the (then) Department of Chemistry, and then Senior Lecturer in the School of Physical Sciences. Since August 2019 she has also been Associate Director of AstrobiologyOU, the interdisciplinary research group that spans three faculties in The Open University.

Research interests

Vic is a geo/cosmochemist with primary research interests in astrobiology/planetary protection studies of icy Moons, Mars, asteroids and meteorites. This includes understanding the processing of carbon-rich Solar System bodies including asteroids, Enceladus, Phobos and Mars; the survival oforganisms and biomarkers in potentially habitable environments andthe potential habitability of icy moons including Enceladus and Europa. She also has an interest in interdisciplinary research, which has recently included collaborations outside science disciplines to evaluate the socio-economic benefits of space exploration.

Teaching interests

Vic is currently Co-Chair of S111 (Questions in Science) and has previously chaired or been deputy Chair for interdisciplinary science modules at Level 1 and Level 2, including S104 (Exploring Science), S250 (Science in Context), S201 (Science and Society) and S240 (Analytical Science). During her time on S240, she authored the OpenLearn course Analytical Science: Secrets of the Mary Rose.

As an Associate Lecturer she has also taught and supported students on undergraduate and postgraduate modules, including S250, S802 (Science and the Public), S804 (Communicating Science), and S810 (MSc project module), the latter of which she still supports. Vic also previously held a Deputy Associate Dean position, with responsibility for equality, diversity and inclusion, and remains the Faculty Accessibility Coordinator for Science modules, and Students in Secure Environments champion for science.